The Business Model Canvas: an Alignment Tool

How do you align your teams with your corporate strategy? That’s a simple but tricky question, isn’t it? In the last couple of years, I have been using the Business Model Canvas at several organizational levels. (Read my previous post here where I introduced the Canvas). I have been astonished by the employees’ misunderstanding of their own firm. In the current context, our organizations are being disrupted in a much faster pace than in the last century. If you have been in management position in the 90s, I am pretty sure you can point out dramatic difference with today’s working environment. We have so often heard statements such as “we must be more agile”, “we must be more collaborative” etc. It’s not a coincidence. Organizations must be ready to face challenges with fewer resources and shorter deadlines.

The bigger the organization, the lesser collaborators have a full understanding of what is going on. I do not blame them, because we all have goals and targets and therefore must focus on our Todos’, but, at some point, every single collaborator may be asked to participate in the launch of a new solution, or simply interact with another department for reason x or y. I believe every single collaborator must get the big picture. After all, these are the fundamental mechanisms of the firm: if one block falls apart, no matter in which department you are, you will be impacted.

Here a couple of top suggestions to use the BMC as an alignment tool for your organization:

  • For every new collaborator, explain your business model with the Business Model Canvas. The BMC is a concept that is, no matter his/her background, simple and intuitively understandable.
  • For every meeting involving people from several departments, provide a Canvas and check how your decisions impact the building blocks and what are the potential trade-offs.

From an HR point of view, we have heard again and again in the last years that a holistic view of the organization is key to keep everybody aligned with the strategy and engaged. With the BMC, we finally have a great tool to assist us and educate our staff; let’s use it without moderation.

— David Verbustel www.davidverbustel.com/about

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